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Introduction of Dubai Metro

The Dubai Metro is one of the few driverless passenger trains in the world and was completed over the period of about 4 years after the plan to improve public transport in Dubai. The road networks were getting clogged up and something needed to be done and the Dubai Metro is a clean and efficient modern transport system that is still expanding in the Emirate.

The Dubai Metro has been a great success and since it was launched has seen a continual increase in the number of passengers that use it each year. Currently there are two lines – the green line and the red line, but plans to build more lines are afoot and also to extend the existing lines further out to large residential areas of Dubai that would make great use of it.

If you are planning on using the Dubai metro either as a resident or a visitor then check out the rules and regulations, the ticket prices and the station information here.

About metro


  • 47 stations, 9 underground
  • 2 transfer stations (Union Square and Khalid Bin Waled)
  • 87 trains in the metro system
  • 75 kilometres total
  • Train signaling: Fully-automated operation by Thales Rail Signaling Solution, minimum headway of 90 seconds
  • Metro Operations Hours
    • Sunday – Wednesday 5:50am to 00:00pm
      Thursday 5:50am to 01:00am
      Friday 1:00pm to 01:00am
      Saturday 5:50am to 24:00pm


  • 5-car trains
  • Each train can accommodate 643 passengers, seated and standing
  • The 5 cars on each train are split into 3 classes: Gold (VIP) class (1car), Women and children (1car), Silver class (3 cars)
  • Gold class has 18 seats and is furnished with luxorious interior and leader rating
  • Women and children class has space for strollers and bags
  • Silver class is finished in a combination of blues and greens
  • Driverless operation
  • Trained wardens to accompany passengers to help with emergencies
  • Seating arranged in a variety of ways, giving passengers the choice between Windows views and chatting with friends
  • All train cars have reserved wheelchair spaces for those with special needs
  • Policy of priority rating for elderly, injured, special needs and pregnant passengers
  • Variety of safety device on trains, including closed circuit television

Metro Stations

  • Every station will have bus connections, taxi pickup and places to lock bicykles
  • All stations have escalators and lifts where neccessary
  • There is a station every 1.5 km on average
  • Station types: Type 1 at grade, Type 2 regular elevated, Type 3 special elevated, Underground
  • Station Themes: Earth (12 stations), Water (13 stations), Air (11 stations), Fire (11 stations)
  • Roof shape is inspired by pearl diving heritage of the UAE

Red Line

  • 29 stations: 24 elevated, 4 underground, 1 at ground level
  • Frequency every 3:45 minutes during peak times, 7:00 minutes during off-peak hours
  • Initially 38 trains in service, 51 trains in service by 2010
  • Initial capacity arend 11,675 passengers per direction per hour
  • 52.1 km total, 4.7 km underground (under Dubai Creek)
  • Expected travel time one-way: 1 hour 12 min
  • Expected travel time round-trip: 2 hours 23 min

Green Line

  • 20 stations: 12 eleveted, 8 underground
  • Initially 16 trains in service, 60 trains in service by end of 2010
  • Initial capacity around 6.394 passengers per direction per hour
  • 22.5 km total
  • Expected travel time round-trip: 1 hour 23 minutes


  • Total of 518 buses in operation by April 2010
  • 41 feeder routes will meet the metros Red Line
  • Feeder bus routes will run every 5-10 minutes
  • Bus features
    • Special „tropical“ air conditioning
    • Announcements on route progress
    • Automated collection system using card fares
    • Buses feature low floors, wide entrances and special rating areas that are easier for people with special needs
    • Engines that limit amount of pollutants in the exhaust

Bus Stations

  • All metro stations are also bus stations
  • 68 more bus stations across the system

Water Bus

  • Air conditioned
  • Capacity of 36 passengers per ferry
  • 5 stops along Dubai Creek
  • Commuter ferry runs every 10-20 minutes, depending on route

Tourist Ferry

  • Tourist ferry runs every hour


  • 149 available abras
  • Capacity of 20 persons per boat


Dubai Metro Facts
  • The Dubai Metro opened on 09/09/09 with ten stations operational under its red line
  • The Dubai Metro is also the world’s longest automated driverless train system
  • It has been launched in a record time of four years
  • The total cost of the Dubai Metro is estimated at 15 billion dirhams
  • There are two metro lines covering the city – The Red Line and The Green Line
  • The Red Line has 29 stations covering 52 kms which will be fully operational by Feb 2010
  • The Green Line has 18 stations over 23 kms and will be opened in 2010
  • Anyone with a valid ticket/Nol card is eligible to use the Metro – residents or tourists
  • There are four types of Nol cards – Silver, Gold, Red and Blue each serving customers as per their requirement
  • Train run from 6am to 11pm, Saturday to Thursday and from 2pm to midnight on Fridays. During Ramadan, train times are from 6am to midnight, Saturday to Thursday and 2pm to midnight on Fridays.
  • The waiting time between trains during rush hours is 3 minutes 45 seconds and during off peak times is 7 minutes 30 seconds
  • 1,05,000 took the Metro during the launch weekend
  • There are four themes based on which the interiors of the metro have been developed – Earth, Fire, Water and Air
  • First aid crew, security crew in the train cars and station staff will help passengers have a smooth ride

50 things you need to know about Dubai Metro

How many stations will there be on the Red Line?

Initially there will be 10 open but by February 2010, there are 29 stations on the Red Line, 24 elevated, 4 underground and 1 at grade (street level). The stations open on launch are Rashidiya, Airport Terminal 3, Deira City Center, Al Rigga, Union, Khaleed bin Al Waleed, Al Jafiliya, DIFC, Mall of the Emirates and Nakheel Harbour and Tower.

What type of facilities are available at the stations?

The stations on the Dubai Metro line will offer many facilities such as retail outlets and kiosks, such as coffee shops, boutiques, places to eat and tourist information.

Which stations have car parking facilities?

Currently on the Red Line, car parking facilities areas are available at Rashidiya and Jumeirah Islands, both having 3,000 spaces each. There are only a few car parking spaces available at the other Metro stations. However, these stations have good integration with other forms of transport such as taxis, buses and water taxis.

Are there any facilities for left luggage at the stations?

There are no facilities for left luggage at the stations, there are however, on board temporary storage facilities which can be used while travelling between stations to your destination.

Are the stations air-conditioned and will washrooms, toilets be provided?

Yes all the stations and the trains are fully air-conditioned to a mean temperature. All stations will have washroom and toilet facilities for the public.

Will there be prayer rooms made available for the public?

Due to the size of the stations, there are no provision for prayers made for the public.

Are there any special facilities to help the disabled passengers?

For the visually impaired, there are tactile guide paths, Braille on TVMs; lifts and passenger equipment. For the mobility impaired, there are lifts and ramps. Wheelchair spaces are provided in every compartment.

Are there first aid and passenger care systems?

Yes. Station staff are trained as first aiders and there are first aid rooms in stations. Our staff will work closely with ambulance and hospitals for passenger care service whenever necessary.

How many passengers per car and per train? How many are sitting and how many are standing?

Design for 643 per 5-car train. Can carry up to 897 passengers at peak capacity and has structural design for up to 1,150 passengers. There are 142 seats per train.

How fast can the Dubai Metro trains go?

The speed of the trains in automatic mode can run from 45-90 kph depending on the track section. Red Line: Average speed 42 km per hour. Green Line: Average speed 32 km per hour.

How many people are expected to ride on the Dubai Metro?

In the initial stages, it has been forecast that 11,000 passengers will use the Dubai Metro every hour during peak times with an estimated 74,319 passengers per day.

How many classes of train service are there? What are the differences in the service between classes?

Women & Children (special car for women & children; more space to allow strollers and bags); 12 seats & 3 flip up chairs. Gold (more spacious; higher level of privacy; luggage space, leather seating; 18 deluxe seats situated at the front of the train). Silver (standard; 25 to 27 seats).

How long is each five car train?

Each of the first and last car measure 17.55m in length. Each of the middle 3 cars measure 16.8m in length. The total length of the train is 85.5m.

What are the special facilities that you will have inside the trains?

Elderly, injured, special needs people and pregnant women will have the choice of priority seating. The compartments will be equipped with audio visual devices, passenger information display and public address in Arabic & English. Clear signage will show the route map of the metro and other directions for passengers. Closed circuit television in all trains will ensure a safe journey. There is also wireless internet coverage inside train.  Who built the Dubai Metro?The first phase of the network (Red and Green Line) is being built by Dubai Rapid Link (DURL) Consortium which comprises Japanese companies including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Mitsubishi Corporation, Obayashi Corporation, Kajima Corporation and the Turkish company Yapi Merkezi.

Can the Metro reduce the traffic jam in Dubai? What is the time saving we can expect to bring to the travelling public?

It will reduce traffic jams in Dubai, in particular Sheikh Zayed Road, Bur Dubai and Deira. Time saving: depends on the destinations of the passengers but it can be as high as 50 percent saving in journey time.

What is the role of Serco?

Serco as the concessionaire is responsible for the operations and maintenance of the Red Line and Green Line of Dubai Metro for the first seven years and an option of a further five years.

Why is the RTA so confident that the Dubai Metro will help save travelling time?

The Metro will be run on dedicated guide way; hence no traffic jam. It is designed with a high level of reliability and punctuality so passengers can plan their journey time. The experience in other cities also confirms this assumption.

What is Serco’s experience in managing Metro/rail?

Experience includes Dockland Light Rail, Copenhagen Metro, Mersey Rail in Liverpool, Manchester Metro link, Northern Rail in UK, Great Southern Rail.

What does the RTA expect in terms of how much of the Metro capacity will be used?

Depends on the time of the day – at peak hour it is expected that more than 50 percent of the capacity will be used initially. The utilisation will increase over time. A maximum of four people per sq m loading will be maintained.

Are you permitted to eat and drink on board the trains?

No, eating and drinking on board a train is a byelaw offence.

When do you expect that the capacity will be saturated?

The planned network will be expanded when demand increases.

Is smoking allowed within the Metro facilities?

Smoking is not allowed within the Metro facilities.

Is there any plan to link with Sharjah or Abu Dhabi?

The Integrated Transport Master Plan is being developed by RTA.

What other lines besides Red & Green does the RTA hope to introduce?

The Red Line would be extended from the Jebel Ali Free Zone to the Dubai-Abu Dhabi border. RTA is also studying options to extend the Red Line from Jebel Ali to the Jebel Ali Airport, which is under construction at the moment. The extension of the Green Line has been approved already, with the line extended to 4.9 km from the Healthcare City to Jaddaf. Initially, the Green Line was to be 17.6 km long. Similarly, the Purple and the Blue Lines would be catering to the commuters between the Dubai International Airport and the Jebel Ali Airport and the Emirates Road. A tram Line, Al Sofooh Line, has also been approved and will be a feeder to the Red Line.

Will pets be allowed in stations and trains?

For hygiene and safety reasons, pets are not allowed in the stations and trains.

Will there be an expansion plan for the train fleet?

The train fleet will increase over time to meet passenger demand and service standard.

Does the Metro operate extra services for special events?

We take into account special events when planning our services in advance and wherever possible we will always endeavour to provide additional services to cope with passenger demand.

Will the frequency of the services increase in the future?

We will closely monitor customer travel patterns and will adjust the timetable/frequency accordingly if it becomes necessary.

How frequent are the trains?

The trains will operate every 3 minutes and 45 second during peak times.

How long does the train take from Rashidiya to Jafza?

69 minutes

Why are there 3 peak services each day?

We operate 3 peak services to cater for passenger demand – 6.30-8.30am, 12.30-2pm and 5.30-9pm – this is when the system will be at its busiest with commuters using the system to get to and from their place of business and for customers wishing to make use of the Metro at lunch time.

Will the service get heavily overloaded during special festivities/special events – making it unsafe to travel on?

Serco always put customer safety first. Serco prepares special safety plans for events which will attract more passengers including crowd control measures, provision of additional trains, increase train frequency, and deployment of additional frontline and security staff.

How will Serco/RTA ensure that the trains run on time?

The most sophisticated train control system is used to monitor and control train movement which will ensure punctuality. A state-of-the-art Operations Control Centre overseeing train movement by well trained controllers will also ensure train run on schedule. Redundant design and condition monitoring alarms for safety critical equipment will also be used as well as proactive preventive maintenance.

What are the service hours?

Every station will have the train service hours stated at the entrance. Normal operating hours will be 6am to 11pm, except Fridays, when it will operate from 2pm.

How can I make a complaint about the Dubai Metro?

If you have a complaint, the easiest way to register this would be to call the RTA on 8009090, alternatively, you can visit the RTA website at www.rta.gov.ae and submit your complaint via the website. We endeavour to respond to all correspondence within 14 days.

Can I take large items on board the train such as a surf board?

No you cannot. You are able to take on board smaller items, such as hand luggage.

What are the Key Performance Targets that Serco need to achieve for managing the Dubai Metro?

Train punctuality (99%), Train availability (99%), Equipment availability (99%).

Will there be any penalty in the case that the service targets are not met

Yes; there will be penalty. Serco will be putting in every effort to make sure that targets will be met.

How will Serco/RTA ensure that the staffs are helpful and the services are of good quality?

Through careful selection of staff. Provision of customer service training to all service staff, building a service culture and monitoring performance through customer satisfaction surveys.

How many languages will the train and station attendants speak?

There will be staff able to speak Arabic and English at the stations and onboard. Serco is also looking at providing multi-language support through the Customer Service Call Centre.

What are the job opportunities and the percentage of UAE nationals to be recruited for the Metro when it operates?

The current target of Emiratisation is 30-50 percent of positions at and above manager level at initial years of Red Line and Green Line operations. 50-60 percent of positions at manager and above levels by 2015.

Can you tell us the total number of staff for the Metro?

2,200 staff will be recruited for the opening of Red Line, building up to 3,000 staff when both Red Line and Green Line open.

What about security on trains at and near stations?

Professionally trained security staff will be recruited to perform the following tasks: Patrolling of stations and trains, 24/365 access control, management of security risks, enforcement of railway bye-laws, cooperation with Police on law and order enforcement. There will be a dedicated Police team in managing security issues in Dubai Metro. State-of-the-art safety equipment will be used such as CCTV in stations, trains, depots, track-side and sub-stations, Emergency Call Points (ECP) on station platforms & trains, intrusion alarm systems and smart card operated access control system.

Is the train safe to ride as we see a lot of swerving curves in the track?

Yes. Dubai Metro is designed to meet international safety standards and its safety is assessed by an Independent Safety Assessor (ISA). The Metro can run up and down the viaduct safely and up to 3-4 percent gradient.

Is there any chance of a train breaking down. If so, do you have any contingency plans?

The probability of such event will be very low. In the unfortunate event if that happens, Serco has prepared contingency plans to  ensure passenger safety and comfort.

Will the railway make a lot of noise and prevent me and my family from sleeping at night?

Noise mitigation measures include low noise motors and air-conditioning equipments, viaduct enclosure designs to reduce noise propagation while anti-vibration measures are included in the track system to minimise noise.

What is the forecast patronage for the Metro?

Year 1: about 600,000 per day; 1.8 million per year. By 2020: about 1.8 million per day; over 650 million per year.

What will be the expected market share?

Eventually achieving 30 percent when the full network opens.

How will Serco handover the concession to RTA at the end of contract and will that guarantee that the operation and management of the Metro will not be affected?

Serco is obliged to hand back the Dubai Metro to RTA in a similar condition as received at the outset, and is subject to a rigorous regime for care and maintenance of the assets of the railway.

(Information supplied by the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority)






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